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Swampoodle Quilt #3
|| 5/14/2008 || 6:12 pm || Comments Off on Swampoodle Quilt #3 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Swampoodle Quilt #3

Using this portion of Swampoodle Quilt #2, I constructed this derivative Diamond Quilt Projection map of the area around the Artomatic 2008 venue in the Swampoodle neighborhood in Washington, DC.

After making this map I conceived an alternative procedural route to constructing future derivative maps. Those of you that have read this blog for awhile know that I do sequential maps, where you can literally see the visual process of what part of the previous map was used to construct the next map. However, this recursive process shows all the intermediate maps, when sometimes I just want to get to the final map. So the idea is to make smaller maps, like 12,000 x 12,000 (square not 3:2) and sample these maps first and not publish the intermediate maps. For example, I make a map of a new location and after processing that map, I sample it and render another map, sample that map, and render that map as the final map of the geography. The difference here is that I would not publish the intermediate maps as [City] Quilt #2, #3, etc. but just the final map. I’m going to try that next.

View the Google Map of the Swampoodle neighborhood in Ward 6 of Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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Swampoodle Quilt #2
|| 5/13/2008 || 4:43 pm || Comments Off on Swampoodle Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Swampoodle Quilt #2

Using this portion of Swampoodle Quilt, I constructed this derivative Dodecagon Quilt Projection map of the area around the Artomatic 2008 venue in the Swampoodle neighborhood in Washington, DC. Up next is second derivative map that samples a portion of this map.

View the Google Map of the Swampoodle neighborhood in Ward 6 of Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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Artomatic 2008 Opening Night
|| 5/10/2008 || 12:25 pm || Comments Off on Artomatic 2008 Opening Night || ||

Alfonso & Farrah @ my Artomatic exhibit space
Photo by Alex from There Were Ten Tigers

After working rather hard the last two weeks on getting my Artomatic space ready and operational, I was pleased that the evening went by quickly & smoothly. When I left the building at around 1:00am, the doorman had clicked just under 5,000 people and I’d say I spoke to at least 50 people (about 1% of the total) while manning my little corner space. Since my spot is in an out-of-the-way location (like how this website used to be), I received less foot traffic (aka eyes/visits) than the central spaces and my neighbor wasn’t around to show up and turn on her exhibit’s lights. Neither of those issues really bothered me as much as being harped on about not having promotional materials.

The aim was to save paper and to challenge people into thinking & remembering. Specifically, if they cannot remember my name amongst a thousand other artists, would they remember my art? Well the easy answer, or at least the one that presented itself, was that people prefer to have a token of remembrance and are disappointed when one is not offered. It’s not like the Artomatic floor map in their hands says nothing, rather, it says my name quite clearly: Nikolas R. Schiller. I even own it as a domain name: www.Nikolas R Schiller.com, so the visitors had some generic token, but it clearly was not good enough; it needed to be personalized, beyond the passive note that they could have left in the RECORD book.

Today I am going to drop off some Tacky Flyers that I printed in for North, South, East, Westminster in September of 2006. They’ve been collecting dust in my basement because I got them for free when I ordered the NSEWestminster flyers, and have always thought they were unprofessional and ugly. To subvert that issue, I am going to place a sign above the flyers noting that they are, in fact, Tacky Flyers.

In some ways by identifying them as such, it calls out anyone else who chooses to use those flyers for promoting their business or event. As noted above, they were just collecting dust in my basement and I didn’t have any intended use for them except to use as scrap materials in some future art project. And in the whole “saving paper visit website” context, the use of these flyers *is* recycling. While the 27.5 year-old Nikolas would not have made the same flyer that the 25.75 year-old Nikolas made, I am able to now offer a token of my own personal remembrance– even if it’s in the form of a Tacky Flyer.

Aside from the promotional material requests, I had a really fun time meeting and chatting with people. I have not even attempted to look through the other artwork in the building, but plan on doing a floor-by-floor analysis in the not-so-distant future. It would be interesting to make an interactive map of the entire building, but I don’t think I have the time to do it.

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Swampoodle Quilt
|| 5/7/2008 || 6:42 am || Comments Off on Swampoodle Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Swampoodle Quilt

I chose this site because it’s where Artomatic is at!

Swampoodle is an old name used to describe a small section of the H Street neighborhood in Northeast Washington, DC. The area was first settled in the 1850s by immigrants fleeing the Irish potato famine. A geographic approximation of its borders would be K Street to the north, G Street to the south, 1st Street NW to the west, and 2nd Street NE to the east. Through the center of it, just east of North Capitol Street, ran the principal branch of Tiber Creek, creating the low swampy ground from which the area took its name.

A few years ago developers created the North of Massachusetts Avenue Business Improvement District, or NOMA and have tried to rebrand the neighborhood to something different.

When making the map I concluded that at the time of the aerial photography’s acquisition, it was still called Swampoodle and not NOMA. The same goes for Google Maps, which shows an even older glimpse (from spring 2002) of the changing neighborhood.

Personally, I think the name Swampoodle gives the area character in name. In contemporary identity, the area is mostly a bunch of warehouses and parking lots that are about to be developed, so I look forward to seeing a Swampoodle map in 10 years. It will look drastically different and I just hope its not called some focus group-approved abbreviation of a geographic region.

View the Google Map of the Swampoodle neighborhood in Ward 6 of Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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The Base Map Installation @ Artomatic
|| 5/5/2008 || 1:15 pm || Comments Off on The Base Map Installation @ Artomatic || ||

About a month ago when I was planning out my Artomatic exhibit I came up with the idea to do a time-lapse video as a means to promote & showcase my upcoming exhibit. My friend Brian Liu made a similar styled video and I thought it would be fun to make one that shows both the location of the exhibit and teases viewers into seeing the actual exhibit.

The process involved in making the video was rather straightforward. Back in mid-April I went through my collection of printed maps and picked out a few that I didn’t care for. Then I went to my nearby CVS and purchased about 6 more DC, Maryland, and Virginia maps. I cleared out my dining room and laid out all the maps to see if they would cover the 12′ x 8′ space that I am alloted at Artomatic and once I realized that I had enough maps I began to cut them into roughly 1′ x 2′ sections. After that I went to the hardware store and purchased some wheatpaste and a paint brush. Finally, I contacted my friend Robin who’s done similar videos before and bounced the idea off of him. He thought it was a decent concept and after a few minor delays on Friday, April 25th, 2008 we went to the Artomatic space and recorded the entire installation from start to finish. About a week later I got the raw video from him, last night I edited it in Final Cut Pro, and today I uploaded it to YouTube.

I chose to use the tune “The Dub and the Restless” by Sonic Boom because it’s been a favorite of mine for ages and I felt it captured the essence of the time-lapse video quite well. I have contacted the musician and hopefully he’ll continue to let me use the video without issue.

Tomorrow I am going to the Artomatic space and will be doing some touch-up work to the wall because after my last visit to the site I noticed some of the map’s have become unstuck and I need to make sure they are securely fixed to the wall. Later this week I will be going to the space and putting up my maps over “the base map.” I’ll probably need to get some extra lighting in place and after that it should be ready for Friday’s opening! I have a couple other ideas for the exhibit, but they’ll be shared here when the time comes.

If you are in the Washington, DC area this Friday, please stop by and say hello!


Looks like someone from NOMA gave the Artomatic organizers one crappy raster graphic to use— notice the pixilation on their logo!

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!